On May 4, the New York Daily News reported the sad tale of young Ashlynn Mike, the 11-year-old girl abducted and murdered by a Navajo man in New Mexico. As we often see with stories of this nature, a GoFundMe page was attached to the Daily News report:
That GoFundMe is page is now gone, and we were unable to find a cached copy.
By May 10th, Mike’s family told KRQE that the family hadn’t created any GoFundMe pages:
Family of Ashlynne Mike is warning people about fake online fundraisers.
11-year-old Ashlynne Mike was murdered last week on the Navajo Nation. Ashlynne’s family tells KRQE News 13 there have been a couple of accounts set up on the GoFundMe website in Ashlynne’s name. But the family says they’re not using the site, only a Wells Fargo account.
REPORTERS: Please for love of all that’s holy, STOP including GoFundMe pages in your stories unless you know with absolute certainty that the page has been started by an authorized family member. Not a distant third cousin or a former girlfriend or some guy who met someone that one time. Anyone can start a GoFundMe page for any reason without any verification, and you’re only making the scammers’ “job” that much easier by spreading their phony fundraisers. STOP IT.
It’s beyond sick that this little girl — who was victimized in life — is now being victimized in death by opportunistic GoFundMe fraudsters, but such is the brave new world in which we live. Until such time as GoFundMe gets their shit together, it’s pretty safe to assume pages to be guilty until proven innocent. Sad, but true.